Love this photo from Michelle over at Consuming Louisville. Perhaps I’m just pining for baseball?
|This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.|
ESPN SportCenter highlights from May 6, 1998. The Cubs’ 21-year-old pitching phenom Kerry Wood strikes out 20 in one of the most dominant pitching performances of all time – and against the winningest Houston Astros team ever. Check out the break on the slider he throws around 1:30 – it broke so hard it crosses the plate and ends up behind the hitter! That year, he pitched 167 innings and struck out 233 – almost 1.5 an inning. His elbow would later revolt.
Update: More from the weird world of baseball: NY Mets ace Pedro Martinez is a cockfighter. With video! Vs. Hall-of-Famer Juan Marichal, no less! In the Dominican Republic, cockfighting isn’t as maligned as it is here, though…
RotoNation has a great nugget from their archive today, wherein one major-league pitcher plunks (hits a batter with a pitch) another player because he’s on a streak and benefitting someone else in the pitcher’s fantasy league. Read it here: Jeff Kent Beaned to Help Tom Candiotti’s Fantasy Baseball Team.
And from the “Aw-shucks-aint-that-cute-in-a-legal-sorta-way” department comes this gem from Baseball Musings: I’m In Trouble. You see, the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays (yep, Tampa Bay has a team!) changed their name at the end of the year last season to the Tampa Bay Rays, adopting sunbeams as part of their logo treatment and getting rid of the fish-like creature. People in the Rays organization who use the term “Devil Rays” are obliged to submit $1 to a “swear-jar” sorta thing – and it would appear they are attempting (in a cute way) to enforce the same thing on the public-at-large. But rather than sending Cease and Desist orders they are sending C&D’s of another sort – Cease and Donate!
Yes, it’s true, I’m one of those people who play fantasy baseball. Don’t know what the hell that is? Let the Wikipedia’s Fantasy Baseball entry enlighten you. I’ve been playing with the same group of guys (from my Dairy Queen days) for nearly 10 years and the second year I think I won it – and it’s been all down hill since then. Since 2002, my record has been: 13-8, 10-12, 11-15, 10-13, 7-17, 4-20. This year, having read Moneyball and Fantasyland (two excellent baseball books), I’ve embarked on learning as much as I can and keeping better care of my team – which is named the Dangville Mercykillers (I lost the rights to the “Blue Jays” when I lost a bet).
While desperately searching for some Fantasy Baseball advice this evening, I stumbled upon a magnificent thing: The Library of Congress’ News from the 1910s photoset at Flickr.
Of particular interest were the large number of baseball-related photos from that set.
You see, I’m currently reading Eight Men Out – one of those must-read baseball books that I’ve never-read. It details the fixing of the 1919 World Series (“Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!”), and baseball of that protean period is truly fascinating. Played in parks that Single-A ballclubs would snub today and attended by men in suits and snappy bowler-hats. Rough and tumble men with weathered faces and hard hands who played for peanuts. One of my favorite photos is seen below: People choking the streets in NYC to see a telegraph-fed “play-o-graph” of the 1911 World Series. That was the sports bar of the day!
In many ways, though, baseball hasn’t changed much since then. It is a uniquely American game, and thus captures our attention like few other things. Iconic, beautiful.
The early days of baseball were played in lots that would make most high-school coaches grumble. Glorified sandlots with fences. But it had reached most Americans by this time, even if on an average American would only see a game once every 30 years. There was nothing else like it. It was raw, crude by today’s measure, but in those sandlots and in that violently slow game, American found it’s pastime.
Can you tell it’s almost time for Spring Training to begin?
Link found over at BaseballMusings.com.
We went to Slugger Field to see the Cincinatti Reds vs. the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. The game was sold out, and it was neat to see our little field full to capacity. Our tickets were “standing room only”, so the amount of baseball seen was equivalent the amount of health-consciencous (sp?) food eaten.
Nonetheless, i snapped some pretty awesome ultra-wide photos as seen in this NEW gallery!
The Reds are something like 8-20 on the pre-season Greapefruit League play, and they sure didn’t do disrespect to their record, getting beat 3-2 in a bit of a nail-biter. Griffey was no-show due to injuries, but hell, i just love going to the ballpark!